ACL compiles a daily media monitoring service of stories of interest to the Christian constituency relating to children, family, drugs and alcohol, marriage, human rights, religious freedom etc. Visit the ACL’s website each day to see what’s of interest in the news. Please note that selection of the articles does not represent ACL endorsement of the content.

 

 

Abortion
What Roe has wrought: ‘after-birth’ abortion

Kelly Boggs – BPNews

Should a newborn be allowed to live? This very question is the subject of an article by two Australian-based ethicists that appears in the latest Journal of Medical Ethics (JME), an international publication based in Britain. The question, of course, is not difficult to answer. In the biblical worldview, a baby should be allowed to live because human life originates with God. Human life is precious, sacred and, as the Bible asserts, made in the image of God.

When we must argue for the life of a child, we’re in trouble
Andrew Bolt – Herald Sun

The very fact that Barny Zwartz must assert something once thought so self-evidently true tells us we’ve wandered into a moral swamp: Something is seriously wrong when ‘’logic’’ tells two academics it is fine to kill infants if they are inconvenient since infants are not ‘’persons’’.

Abortion debate shows divisions
Kate Coughlan – The Boarder Mail

It was meant to be a calm and rational debate about abortion but last night’s forum at St Matthew’s Church in Albury further revealed the deep division in the community. About 100 people attended and many aired their personal views on abortion.

Children & Family
The gloves are off

SMH

Custody battles – what nasty little war zones they are. The ugly side of divorce and family breakdown that sadly and all too often ends in tragic tales of manipulation, lies and deception. Celebrity couples have provided us with a broad and unpleasant range of dysfunctional family spectacles –from Charlie Sheen and his multiple wives with multiple children and multiple personality disorders, to Halle Berry and her bitter battle for a little girl that appears to have no end in sight.For some it is apparent winning the court case is more important than winning their children’s hearts.

Donor Conception & Surrogacy
Millionaire sperm donor launches custody battle

NineMSN and news.com.au

A Victorian court will decide whether a millionaire businessman who secretly helped a friend conceive through IVF can claim parental rights. The man has launched a legal battle over custody of the boy and wants the Family Court to decide if he is considered his parent, the Herald Sun reports. Under current Victorian law, a sperm donor is not considered the father of any resulting children.

Drugs & Alcohol
Dysfunctional family environment increases genetic risk for drug abuse

Medical Net

The risk of abusing drugs is greater – even for adopted children – if the family environment in which they are raised is dysfunctional, according to a new study conducted by a collaborative team from Virginia Commonwealth University and Lund University in Sweden.

Truckie ‘did not think transporting drugs was a serious crime’
Katie Robertson – PerthNow

A South Australian truck driver has been jailed for 18 months after he tried to transport more than 6kg of cannabis into Perth. Andrew Minarsky, 49, was sentenced in Perth’s District Court today after pleading guilty to possessing a prohibited drug with intent to supply or sell.

Education
Double take on history’s not too taxing

Andrew Trounson – The Australian

Is January 26 Australia Day or Invasion Day? Historian Anna Clark says the average Australian is likely to recognise it as both. In new soon-to-be-published research Clark says ordinary Australians readily understand there are different perspectives on history depending on people’s viewpoints. And they see beyond the one-eyed polemics of the history wars that have dominated the media and public debate.

Environment
Climate and floods: Flannery is no expert, but neither are the experts

Stewart Franks – The Conversation

Few Australians can be unaware of yet another summer season where widespread floods are covering large areas of eastern Australia. As with last year’s summer deluge, this year’s rainfall is directly caused by a La Niña event in the Pacific Ocean. The last few years of excessive rainfall comes after a decade of drought in eastern Australia, especially in the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia’s prime foodbasket. At that time, a strong El Niño over the summer season on 2002-3 led to a marked drop in rainfall. Subsequent years were either classified as neutral or El Niño conditions.

Gambling
Star casino sex scandal spreads to Premier’s office

Emily Bourke – ABC

A sexual harassment scandal at Sydney’s Star casino has reached the office of the New South Wales Premier and claimed its first political casualty. The Premier’s senior media adviser, Peter Grimshaw, has been forced to stand down without pay. It’s been revealed that he passed on confidential information to his girlfriend, a senior executive at the casino and one of the women who lodged a sexual harassment complaint against the casino’s managing director.

Indigenous
An Aboriginal leader who bridges two cultures

Barry McGaw – Melbourne Anglican

At one level, this book is a biography of a remarkable Indigenous Christian leader. It is not a hagiography, in the sense of a biography that idealises or idolises its subjects. We learn of the weaknesses as well as the strengths and of the struggles as well as the successes of Michael Gumbuli Wurramara, who was usually known as Gumbuli. It is also a rich story of engagement of the Aboriginal community of east Arnhem Land with Europeans, and most particularly Christian missionaries.

Marriage
Let’s keep the wildlife out of marriage debate

Sarrah Le Marquand – The Daily Telegraph

Failure to draw an immediate connection between the marital prospects of livestock and the push to legalise same-sex marriage is quite understandable. Perfectly sensible, in fact. So it pains me to admit that upon hearing of a well-known singer’s passionate defence of gay marriage during Mardi Gras, my first thought was “Oh no, please don’t bring goats into this”. Yet that’s precisely what Sneaky Sound System frontwoman Connie Mitchell did when she chose the annual Mardi Gras festivities to reveal her bisexuality and speak out in favour of same-sex nuptials. “If you want to get married, you should be able to get married to whoever you want – and that includes marrying a goat if you feel like it,” she declared.

Homeschooling families can’t teach homosexual acts sinful in class says Alberta Government
Patrick B Craine – Life Site News

Under Alberta’s new Education Act, homeschoolers and faith-based schools will not be permitted to teach that homosexual acts are sinful as part of their academic program, says the spokesperson for Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk. “Whatever the nature of schooling – homeschool, private school, Catholic school – we do not tolerate disrespect for differences,” Donna McColl, Lukaszuk’s assistant director of communications, told LifeSiteNews on Wednesday evening.

Overseas Aid
Carr appointment praised by aid agencies

Probono Australia

Australia’s International Aid Agencies have welcomed the appointment of former NSW Premier, Bob Carr as the new Foreign Minister in the Gillard Government’s new Ministerial line- up. Prime Minister Gillard announced that Bob Carr will join the Senate, and will take on the role of Minister for Foreign Affairs in her controversial Cabinet re-shuffle announced last week. Until Carr takes his place in the Senate, Craig Emerson is continuing to act as Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Politics
Newman hanging in after Qld poll slide

Gabrielle Dunlevy – AAP

Campbell Newman is slipping out of favour with voters in the seat he needs to win to be Queensland premier, but he’s clinging stubbornly to the party line. ReachTEL says incumbent Labor MP Kate Jones is now ahead in the Brisbane seat of Ashgrove, fending off a challenge from the Liberal National Party (LNP) leader. On a two-party preferred basis, Labor leads 50.7 to 49.3 per cent.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking
Potent impact in brutal look at the sex trade

Robin Usher – SMH

Hardcore, gruelling and extreme – adjectives from European reviews leave little room to doubt the impact of the Adelaide Festival drama, Hard To Be a God. The headline on the festival press release goes further, describing it as ”deep depravity”. The work’s creator, Hungarian director Kornel Mundruczo, agrees it is a ”brutal portrayal of a brutal world”, before adding that everyone knows it is acting and illusion.

Refugees
Asylum seeker riot detainees found to be genuine refugees

Kirsty Needham – SMH

Most asylum seekers detained during Christmas Island and Villawood riots were later found to be refugees, new data shows, challenging an inquiry finding that blamed the unrest on rising numbers of rejected detainees who would not accept the umpire’s decision. Immigration Department data shows 88 per cent of asylum seekers who arrived by boat in 2009-10, including those initially rejected, are now deemed refugees and have a visa.

Sexualisation of Society
UK: Dame Joan blames teenage magazines for sexualising girls with ‘coarsening trash on a huge scale’

Liz Thomas – The Daily Mail

Dame Joan Bakewell has attacked teen magazines for fuelling the premature sexualisation of young girls. She said teenage girls were being offered ‘coarsening trash on a huge scale’ and this was having an impact on their attitudes to sex and their bodies. The 78-year-old may have helped lead the sexual revolution of the Sixties but told the Bath Literature Festival that things had gone too far because everything had become about money. She insisted ‘financial’ motivation was creating a culture where sex was being used to sell publications to teens.

Other
Christian origins too often neglected

Mark Brolly – Melbourne Anglican

Archbishop Philip Freier says there is a disconnection in Australia between many features of society, such as the welfare system, and their Christian origins. Dr Freier said the welfare state in England had come out of a strong Christian context but while Australia had adopted some of the policies, it had done so without the context. He also said primacy of conscience was part of the DNA in the United States but that a similar strong unifying narrative in Australia “might be harder to get in an increasingly secular society which, from my perspective, is trying to privatise faith here”.

Italy – The Almighty’s Dollar
ABC

If life’s two certainties are death and taxes then who blinks first in a face-off between God and The Taxman? Italians are buckling up for very bumpy, very bleak ride into economic gloom and doomdom but many are asking if everyone’s paying their way – particularly the very wealthy. The Catholic Church for instance. As a get-tough Government doles out some harsh medicine, it has at least signalled the Church may need to toss a lot more into the collection plate. But will it come to pass?